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thought of summer. It meant less mud, perhaps,
but more dust; and the "big push" was always
waiting for us.
Safe in Morlancourt, I slept like a log. Sleep was a
wonderful thing when one came back from the Line;
but to wake was to remember. Talking to Joe Dottrell
did me good. A new transport officer had arrived—a
Remount man from England. It was said that he
had been combed out of a cushy job. I was glad I'd
given up the transport. Glad, too, to be able to ride
out on the black mare.
After the ugly weather in the trenches a fine after-
noon in the wood above M6aulte was something to be
thankful for. The undergrowth had been cut down,
and there were bluebells and cowslips and anemones,
and here and there a wild-cherry tree in blossom.
Teams of horses, harrowing the uplands, moved like
a procession, their crests blown by the wind. But the
rural spirit of the neighbourhood had been chased
away by supply sheds and R.E. stores and the sound
of artillery on the horizon. Albert (where Jules Verne
used to live), with its two or three chimney-stacks
and the damaged tower of the basilica, showed above
a line of tall trees along the riverside; a peaceful
medley of roofs as I watched it, but in reality a ruined
and deserted town. And in the foreground Becourt
church tower peeped above a shoulder of hill like a
Anyhow, the black mare had got the better of the
new transport officer. That was something, I thought,
as I jogged home again.
My faithful servant Flook always contrived to keep
me supplied with oranges when we were up in the